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These aggressive birds look like a cross between a reptile and a rooster with bat wings. They petrify victims with a touch and then roost on the resulting statue.
Cockatrices go under several different names depending on their regional habitation. Such names include "stonegazer," "stoneglint," and "petrifier." Each type of cockatrice has a different plumage and a different range, but they are all similar enough for the zookeepers of Ak'Anon to classify them as the same creature. Despite their many similarities, different breeds of cockatrices fight viciously when placed together, gouging and clawing each other until one is dead.
Though partial to grains and wild plants, cockatrices are omnivorous and also eat insects, lizards, and small mammals. They typically have a limited hunting range and live in flocks, with the largest male leading the flock.
Cockatrice flocks are fiercely territorial. Areas where cockatrices have taken roost are obvious from looking at the bodies of petrified attackers strewn across the landscape. Travelers have an easier time avoiding them thanks to such grim evidence of their presence, but since their hunting range is so small, seeing even one petrified creature means that a traveler is already fairly close a cockatrice lair. Unprepared wanderers are advised to leave the area immediately.
Cockatrices live primarily on Kunark, though some evil races have begun capturing and exporting them, mainly for use in underground cockfights between different breeds. Unfortunately, a number of cockatrices have escaped or been released, and a few scattered flocks can be found in the Desert of Ro and on the southern tip of Faydwer in the Dragonscale Hills. Because these magical beasts have no natural predators in these environments, their numbers are growing quickly.
Cockatrice plumage is becoming a popular fashion item in some human cities. As the price rises, more treasure hunters a willing to take the risk of hunting these dangerous creatures. Since their presence endangers local ecosystems, even trolls, ogres, and orc bandits around the Desert of Ro typically let humans pass if they can show evidence of hunting cockatrices — after extorting appropriate "hunting fees," naturally. Similarly, the gnomes on Faydwer are happy to see most anyone in the mountains with the intent to kill these pests, especially since cockatrices interfere with their preferred testing grounds. Iksar who appear with a fistful of dead cockatrices are still unwelcome as ever, however.